Considering selling your service business but are not sure if now is the right time? You are not alone.
In talking with those who are considering selling their heating and air ( and other service ) businesses, a question that often comes up is when is the best time to sell?
There are multiple items to consider to answer that question:
- How are your trending financials?
- Do you have three years of clean books?
- How are your service agreements and other repeatable income?
- Is the economy growing and/or do you see an decline in the future?
- Do you have quality staff in place?
- Are you the entire business or have you begun to separate yourself?
These are all great questions, that will absolutely help you to get the highest amount you can when you are planning a sale of your hvac business, and should be answered as you start that plan.
I strongly feel that the real answer is, WHEN YOU ARE READY TO SELL.
I realize several reading this will say that is an obvious answer and I have wasted your time asking you to read this article, but let me explain.
Over the years I have studied, met with, and consulted those who wanted to sell their business but kept going for various reasons;
- The market is great right now and I need to make as much as I can before I sell
- I just need to pay off a little more
- The market stinks right now so I will wait until it turns around
- When the next politician wins things will get better
And the list goes on and on… Unfortunately if you track their financials, you can see when the owner decided they were done, but kept going for various reasons. Nine times out of ten the numbers decline. They do not put back into their business the way they did over the years. They do not have the vision of growth they once had. They do not market the way they used to. Bottom line, their heart is not in it any more.
As anyone who has every owned their own business can tell you, it is hard. There are days when you wish you didn’t own it. There are days when you would pay someone to take it from you. There are days when the only thing keeping you going is that you know it is going to get better.
When you no longer have the heart to be there, those days stink!!! Those are the days when the owner says I am leaving anyway so I don’t care. Those are the days when an employee needs some direction and the owner is wore out and doesn’t provide it. Those are the days when you see the financials of the business start to decline, and so does the sales price.
I am speaking not only from working with sellers, but in my own business. When I was done, and I mean done, I should have sold it at that time instead of hanging on because it not only cost me money, but hurt the growth of the business long term.
If in your heart know it is time for you to move on, contact someone to get the process started, it will save you not only stress, but money down the road.